Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Haunted Airman is based on Dennis Wheatley’s The Haunting of Toby Jugg. That won’t matter much to most as the reason it might fly off the shelves is that Twilight’s Robert Pattinson is in it. There’s not much mushy stuff so don’t expect much happiness from screaming tweens.
During World War II, Lt. Toby Jugg (Robert Pattinson) is injured during a bombing run. He’s confined to a wheelchair and has been sent to the rural clinic of Dr. Hal Burns (Julian Sands) to recuperate.
His Aunt Julia (Rachael Stirling) has taken him there and he appears to be overly familiar with her. However, he soon starts seeing visions of spiders and that perhaps Dr. Burns doesn’t have his best interests at heart.
Dennis Wheatley was an author who wrote occult thrillers in jolly olde England and was a bestselling author in the 50s and 60s. His two best known works might be the novels that were adapted into the Hammer films The Devil Rides Out and To the Devil – A Daughter. Will that matter to most that will be buying or renting this DVD? Not really I’d imagine as they’ll be snapping it up for other reasons. That reason is represented by the large headshot of Robert Pattinson on the cover.
He’s actually third billed on the film (if I remember the billing correctly) and Julian Sands it top billed (again if I remember correctly). Pattinson’s star is on the rise and the New Moon film is coming soon, but he wasn’t much known when this BBC production was done in 2006.
The Twilight fan in my house was pretty stoked to see this flick on the old review table, but she only lasted about 10 minutes into the film before losing interest.
I’m thinking that will be the way that most of today’s kids will treat this BBC adaptation. It’s not exactly fast going, Pattinson is confined to a wheelchair most of the time, and the romantic bits are not exactly stressed.
It’s also more with his older aunt and not a “Bella.” No shiny vampires here.
Wheatley fans might not appreciate that the Satanism has been excised from the film. I’m not too familiar with the novel, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, Old Scratch played a much bigger role in the book. It’s not really hinted at that the devil is in the details. It seems more of a psychological jealousy on Jugg’s part.
The novel also made clear that there was some inheritance at stake, but I don’t remember that being voiced in the film. The 70 minute film veers toward psychological scares and was actually very well made, but those wanting Twilight will probably be disappointed in the film.
The Haunted Airman is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. The only special feature is the 90 second trailer.
If you like your scares more psychological and on the course of Robert Wise’s the Haunting you might appreciate this little chiller. Those expecting something
Twilight of Robert Pattinson will probably be bored and leave the room to go watch Twilight again.
The Haunted Airman is now available at Amazon and AmazonUK. Visit the DVD database for more information.
Source: Monsters and Critics.com